If You Still Sleep With Your Makeup On, This Will Make You Stop

You get home in the early hours after a fabulous party and all you want is your bed, so you decide you’ll wash all the makeup gunk off your face tomorrow morning. Bad idea. Sleeping with your makeup on can easily become a nightly habit and it has some shocking consequences. Here are 12 that’ll make you reach for face cleanser ASAP.

  1. You prevent your skin’s natural shedding process. If you’re clogging your skin with layers of foundation, you’re preventing your skin from its natural shedding process while you sleep, which means instead of beauty sleep giving you fresh, new skin cells, your skin looks dry and dull. Eew.
  2. You lock in environmental pollutants. If you’ve worn makeup all day, you’ve collected lots of environmental pollutants on your skin that you can’t even see. By not washing off your makeup, you keep these locked onto your skin, which can lead to problems like premature wrinkles, an uneven skin tone, and even skin cancer.
  3. You clog your pores. You don’t want to clog your pores with layers of makeup because it can lead to many problems like zits, blackheads, red and irritated skin, and inflammatory acne. If you already suffer from a skin problem like acne or rosacea, you can exacerbate them. And for what? No one’s gain to see your makeup when you sleep, FFS.
  4. You scratch your eyes. It’s one thing to have clogged pores from foundation on your face, but leaving eye makeup on is even worse. It can lead to irritations and corneal abrasions from any makeup particles that get into your eye and scratch its surface. Ouch. You could also end up irritating the glands and tissues around your eyes. It’s not worth it.
  5. You destroy your skin’s collagen. Back to those nasty environmental pollutants. When pollution gets into your skin, it actually creates free radicals that harm your skin. One of the big ways in which they do this is by destroying your skin’s collagen. This is responsible for your youthful and springy skin, so you want to look after it by keeping your skin clean and healthy. The Daily Mail conducted an experiment back in 2013 of a woman who didn’t wash her face for a whole month (so gross) and just reapplied her makeup on her dirty skin every day. By the end of the month, her skin had aged by a whole decade.
  6. You risk infections. If you have a cut or pimple on your face, chances are you’ve used makeup to try to hide it from sight. But if you don’t wash off this concealer and foundation before bed, you can cause the abrasion or pimple to become infected by dirt and makeup particles. Just don’t go there! Keep makeup remover wipes on your bedside table, so if you forget to wash off your makeup before climbing into bed, you can swipe and sleep.
  7. Makeup itself is irritating. Check the ingredients that are in your makeup—products often contain many dyes and perfumes. These are not cool for your skin, and can irritate and inflame it over time, so you don’t want to get up close and personal with them. Some makeup products even contain carcinogens, and while the EU has banned 1,000 of them, the U.S. has only banned 9 of them. Scary stuff.
  8. Say bye to your eyelashes. You might pride yourself on your long, beautiful lashes, but you could lose them if you don’t wash off your eye makeup at night. Dry, flaky mascara and eye liner can clump your eyelashes, making them fall off. You’ve probably seen this happen before with one or two eyelashes, so imagine if it happens every night!
  9. You get lip blackheads. The last thing you want is bumps around your lips, but that’s what you could get if you leave lipstick on when you go to bed. Not only is this nasty because it gets on your pillows, but its waxy consistency clogs pores around your mouth. The result? Blackheads that ruin your pretty pout.
  10. You get flaky lips. Your lips can also suffer by becoming chapped, thanks to the lip products you love to slather on them and then forget to wash off. If you keep any products on the delicate skin of your lips for too long, they’ll start to remove your lips’ natural moisture, leaving you with dry and flaky skin. After washing off your makeup, use a lip balm before bed to lock in moisture and keep your lips healthy.
  11. You break your blood vessels. Your makeup doesn’t just inflame your skin by making it red, but it can irritate it to the point of destroying your blood vessels, which makes your skin look blotchy AF. Keep washing off your makeup every night to maintain a clear and even skin tone.
  12. You put yourself at risk for styes. You might love your shimmery eye shadow, but going to sleep with eye shadow on can clog the oil glands around your eyes and hair follicles on your eyelids. The result is a painful AF bump on the inside or outside of your eyelid, known as a stye, that’s basically filled with pus. So nasty! Styes are caused by bacteria, so keep your eyes clean and free of makeup. If that doesn’t make you wash off your cosmetics before bed, nothing will.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.